Thursday, August 30, 2007

What's the Deal?

I don't understand the fascination....the utter jubilation....of Band-Aids to kids. Band-Aids are to my kids what cigarettes are to prisoners. It's the hottest item in our house. No less than 50 times on a daily basis someone gets "hurt" and the only cure is a Dora or a Spiderman Band-Aid. Not the beige things with holes in them like we had as kids. No. Those don't work. And the people who make them know it. That's why you can get a box of 100 of those for .49 but Spiderman or Dora strips are like $4.50. Each.
Heaven help us if one of them gets a Band-Aid and the other one doesn't. The other day we started to get in the car and William spotted a Dora strip on Catherine's foot where she had a "bo-bo."
"Heyyyyyyy.....Where did you get THAT? I WANT ONE!" Geez.
I've had to limit the number of "injuries" that need Band-Aids in a day. I've also had to put restrictions on the type of injuries that will necessitate these plastic strips of gold. Basically, at this point, I'm looking for open gaping wounds. Or a little blood. At the very least. The other day I pulled a tangle in Catherine's hair when I was brushing it. She started howling, through her tears begging "Imannabi-nay" I need a Judges ruling on this I said. EEGH! Sorry.
Anyway. So yesterday afternoon William "fell" and did the fake cry - "wah. wah. wah. Mama I need a band-aid. I'm hurt."
"Is blood dripping off your leg?"
He looked hard. Real hard. Then said "No, BUT..."
I interrupted him. "William, you know the rule. Band-Aids are to keep blood from dripping off of your body and onto my nice rugs. That's what they are for. They aren't tattoos. They aren't decorations. They aren't stickers. If you want a sticker, go get one of those with the smiley face that we bought at the dollar store. There are about 500 of those that you can stick all over your body. But DO NOT ask for another Band-Aid unless you are bleeding. Capice?"
The he really started crying. I mean....someone stole your last bite of brownie (or brought you a tiny milkshake) kind of cry. What's wrong now, I asked?
"WAAAAHHHHH. WAAAAAAAAHHHHH." Sniffle sniffle and big breath, with huge tears streaming down his face. "I want to be BLEEDING!!!" Waaaaaaahhhhhhhhh.
Lord help me.

Friday, August 24, 2007

Four Months Today

Four months of juggling. Of balancing. Of tasting all hours of the night. Of protecting from overly zealous siblings. Of always having only one hand free. Of eating cold meals. That were supposed to be hot. Of days where the pinnacle....the goal....the cheese at the end of the simply a shower. But then again....

Four months of kissing on sweet baby toes. Of snuggles, nuzzles, and feeling that sweet, smooth little head on the side of my face. And wanting to make time stand still. Of seeing that big toothless grin as I peer into the crib and can't help but smile. Even at 3 am. Of watching this little personality unfold day by day. And never ceasing to be amazed. Even the third time around. Of discovering that there's always room for one more in a Mother's heart. And on her lap. And in her arms. Of stopping during the busy day to sit and rock and comfort a crying baby. And being grateful for a reason to stop and rest.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

It's A Bird, It's A Plane.....

No, it's just William. As Superman. His favorite thing to do these days is dress up and act out. He is SO dramatic too. I have no idea where he gets that from. Must be Andy's side of the family.

Superman, Spiderman, or even a fairy Princess (much to Andy's dismay). The boy loves to dress up. And he doesn't discriminate. Catherine got a trunk full of dress of clothes for her birthday (tutu, fairy wings, crown, gloves, pearls, even high heels...the works) and I think William has worn everything more than she has. When I addressed him as Princess William, he corrected me. "No, Mama. I'm PRINCE William." Uh huh. Riiiiiiight.

When he's acting out Superman, he enlists Catherine as Supergirl, his sidekick. She has no idea what she's doing, but she plays along and does whatever she's told. One night, William decided that Daddy should be Superstar. I cracked up when I heard Catherine walking through the house, looking for her Daddy and, in that little sing-songy voice, calling out " ... AHHHH (are) you, Supah-stah???"

These are things I hope I always remember but know I probably won't. These are also the moments that never fail to make me laugh, no matter what kind of day I've had.

It's a pretty fair exchange.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

And What Do YOU Do?

It's been more than two years now that I've been "of counsel" with my law firm. People ask me all the time....what exactly is "of counsel?" Andy is usually quick to point out it's "sans paycheck." Actually it's just the very nice way my firm has kept me connected, on the letterhead, invited to social outings, all with the possibility that I'll return at some point. Which I plan to. One day. When I can return without toting my breast pump along with my briefcase.

So I've been in a strange place these past two years and have suffered sort of an identity crisis. Especially when someone asks me what I do? I mean, where do I start? I am a sanitation technician, interpreter, nurse, meal planner, head chef, personal shopper, referee, animal control officer, and general domestic engineer extraordinaire. Oh yeah, and I'm also an attorney.

One of my most memorable episodes dealing with this was when I was about 14 months pregnant with Number 3. I was at a birthday party with William and several of us parents were standing around talking. The father of one of the kids asked me (or so I thought) "What do you do?"

Ever have one of those out of body experiences where you are like floating high above yourself looking down, wondering why someone doesn't slap that crazy person and make her shut up? It was like that. I started in, explaining, "Oh I'm a lawyer. I mean I was a lawyer. Well actually I still am. I'm just at home right now. I mean I guess I'm a stay at home mom. But I'm still on the letterhead at my firm and I could practice law if I wanted to but I mean who has time with all the diapers and feedings and sleepless nights and carpooling, and blah blah blah. But I'm going to go back. At some point. That is if I can ever stop having babies. HA HA HA HA."

At this point all the parents are looking at me like I'm crazy. And then this Dad says....and I still turn red when I remember this.... "NO. I said, WHEN are you DUE?"

"Oh.... (and I start rambling again)....HA HA....I thought you said what do you DO?


Ha Ha....

Ha....Ha.... Ha.

H. H.

h. h.

. "

I think it was Sandra Day O'Connor who responded, when asked whether a woman can truly have it all that, yes, she can....just not all at the same time. For me this has been true. I know that I can do it all. And I will do it all. Just not all at once.

Truth is I'm very proud of the fact that I'm able to stay at home right now and care for and nurture these three precious little souls. I'm also proud of the fact that I made it through three years of law school and the bar exam. But I'm even prouder that I managed to walk away from that birthday party without uttering another word and left with at least a portion of my dignity intact.

At least that's what I told myself.

End of Summer?

The kids started back to "school" today. I find it hard to believe it's time for school when the temperatures are in the triple digits.
This is Catherine's first time going to preschool, and will be a huge test for us (for her) when we get into cold and flu season. For a child with only one good lung, we've been incredibly lucky and blessed that she has been the picture of health for the past two years. But then again she's never been exposed during sick season. I pray over my children daily, but am sending up extra prayers for protection over her this year.
Can you tell from the picture that we finally got a real kiddie pool? Of course I think William still thinks it's a "kitty" pool and that all the neighborhood cats hang out in it at night when we're asleep. Anyway....the kids have had fun splashing around in it on these oh so hot afternoons.
And this was the look I got when I told Catherine it was time to come in.

Monday, August 13, 2007

I Love A Bargain!

My sister-in-law, the Queen of Good Deals, sent me this link to a baby food coupon from Target. It's a web coupon that you can print out as many times as your ink holds out and use as many times as the scanner will scan. It's for $1.00 off of any two baby or toddler food products. My little guy is just starting to eat baby food, so I decided to stock up. I like to make my own baby food (notice the Annable Karmel link) but that was before I had THREE little ones. It was hard enough with two. This time my homemade baby food may be little more than a fleeting thought.

When Kami told me about her shopping experience with the coupon, I thought she was kidding when she said she ended up getting like 50+ jars of food for 41 cents! So yesterday afternoon I went to Tar-get to see if I'd have the same luck. I was a little skeptical about loading my cart full of food and feared that I'd get all the way to the check out lane and only be able to use one coupon and, too embarrassed to return everything, end up purchasing $300 worth of sweet peas and prunes. But I piled everything on the belt, watched it all scan, handed over 30 coupons and watched the discounts fly. When all was said and done I think I paid about $2.00 for enough food to last us through any natural disaster we might face this season (trying not to jinx our run of good luck with no hurricanes so far!). it is....and it expires on Wed. so if you feel so inclined, or know of someone who might benefit....or just might want to go stock up and make a drop at the local food bank....Print on!

Friday, August 10, 2007

She's Two!

Catherine turned two yesterday. We get pretty excited about birthdays around here, so we all gathered together to go into her room to wake her up with a big round of "Happy Birthday" and lots of hugs and kisses. We opened her door and started singing to her. She sat up in the bed, took one look at us, laid back down and pulled the covers over her head. That's our Catherine.

As it works out, our anniversary falls the day after Catherine's birthday. As luck would have it, the Georgia grandparents offered to come keep the kids for the weekend so we could get away. I've had my suitcase packed since I got that call. As much as I can't wait to pull away in a few hours though, I know that we'll be calling home this afternoon just to hear their voices, and when I get back on Sunday it will feel like I've been gone for years. But I sure will enjoy two nights of uninterrupted sleep and getting to use the bathroom. Alone.

Oh...and if you drive by my house this weekend and see it crumbling down, it's because there are 4 children under the age of 4 inside. With only 2 adults. My 2 1/2 year old nephew is here too. Dad said he wanted all of his grandchildren under one roof. "What's one more?" he asked. When that roof falls on his head he'll know!

Saturday, August 04, 2007

Everybody Say "Cheeeeeeeeeeeese"

We had our first picture taken this morning as a family of five. It was church directory time, where good ole' Olan Mills sets up shop at the church. Our sitting was at 10 this morning, which I thought was a great time for us. Late enough to get everyone ready and early enough to not interfere with naps. I got the children's clothes ready yesterday, made sure everyone was in bed at a decent hour last night, and fixed everyone a good breakfast to feed their smiles.

I didn't take into account the fact that I would probably be - and in fact was - up around 4 am to feed the little guy who is no longer sleeping through the night, so there would be plenty of time to get the bags under my eyes packed. I also didn't stop to consider that (a) no one would want to wear what I had picked out (b) everyone would be fighting and (c) it would be hotter-n-hades. A + B + C does not equal a pretty picture.

We started out the door and Andy had on his dress shirt, his sport coat, blue jeans, and my flip flops (yes I have very big feet). In response to "the look" I was giving him, he pointed out, correctly I might add, that the picture is only from the waist up so who cares what he has on from the waist down. The jeans weren't the problem, I thought....but my platform heeled flops looked a little James Brown-ish but....whatever. William refused to wear his knee socks and saddles shoes and opted instead for big clunky black sandals that looked a little silly with the Peter Pan collared shirt and dress shorts he had on. But again...I was picking my battles at that point.

We finally made it there, looking like a bunch of clowns climbing out of a Volkswagen. We got into the picture taking room and were assigned places. I was sitting in front of Andy, and was to hold Stuart. I was already glistening slightly from just trying to get there, but Artie, our friendly photographer, sits me right under the hottest light, and then plops a big wooden box, with what looks like a bear skin rug on top on my lap, and sits the baby on top of it. By the time we all said cheese I looked like Tammy Faye in a rainstorm (God rest her soul). My entire face had melted off.

The individual pictures of the kids were just comical. All three of my little angels together making faces only a Mother could love. We finally went to view the damage, and Andy and I just laughed, as Mr. Mills was making his sales pitch, trying to get us to buy a "Super Special Deal" of a package for the low low price of $1.045.00. Did they honestly see a single picture in the whole cluster worth a thousand big ones???

I don't think we could PAY our family and friends to display any one of them!

Thursday, August 02, 2007

Happy Birthday to Poo

So the other day was my birthday. I won't say which one and it would have been most forgettable had Stuart not given me a more than memorable gift. The gift that keeps on giving. At least here lately.

It actually started out as a better than normal day. Stuart even allowed me a full night's sleep. I'm doing a music camp at church this week so we've been shuffling off to that every morning. William asked me what I wanted for my birthday and I told him I wanted well behaved children who did what I asked of them all day. It must have worked because Catherine even managed to keep Sybil suppressed.

Andy came home from work with a lovely bunch of flowers and a key lime pie, my favorite. Things were looking good! Good children, good dinner and good pie. Stuart was playing happily in his exersaucer as we were getting ready to eat dinner. The phone rang, and it was a dear friend from my law firm days, who I haven't talked to in ages, calling to wish me happy birthday and catch up. I was so happy to hear from her and we were having the best conversation when Stuart starting fussing. Not wanting to cut short my conversation I picked him up to quietly console him and kept on talking.

Here's where it got a little ugly. I felt something drop on my foot. I won't go into graphic details, but let's just say we were experiencing a massive diaper malfunction of epic proportions. I just kept on talking though, as if I was sitting in my garden smelling gardenias. I managed to wipe up my foot, change the diaper and keep him happy so we could finish talking. And she never knew what was happening (although she does now as she's reading this!!).

I didn't think much more about all of this until after I had enjoyed a lovely dinner with my family, and I sat there feeling most queenlike. Until I looked down on my shirt and found more of Stuart's birthday happy he left me. It had been there throughout my lovely birthday dinner and delicious dessert.

Sigh. At least we didn't have chocolate for dessert.